Disneyland Paris to get Marvel, ‘Frozen’ and Star Wars attractions in major $2.4-billion Expansion

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The planned Kingdom of Arendelle is coming in 2021.

A $2.4-Billion expansion of Disneyland Paris will bring some of its most popular new attractions to the French resort.

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French President Emmanuel Macron meeting with Disney CEO Robert Iger.

During an event with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger announced the plans, which includes three new areas based on Marvel characters, the animated hit “Frozen” and its acquired Star Wars franchise.

Disney said it will roll out in three phases beginning in 2021 and will add a lake that will connect the three new areas.

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May 2018: The dragon at Disneyland Paris no longer breathes fire after the one in Orlando caught fire during the Festival of Fantasy parade.

Attractions

Phantom Manor is currently under extensive refurbishment.  Many animatronics are being refurbished.  There will be some new story elements added that will enhance the current mythology and story of Phantom Manor.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will get its facade refurbished.  The Mark Twain riverboat will be back on the Rivers of the Far West.  Big Thunder Mountain is supposed to have some new effects, however, new trains are making some things difficult.  Apparently, the new trains are faster than before.

Ratatouille remains a very popular ride at the Resort.

The biggest announcement is Mickey’s Philharmagic will open in October of this year.  The attraction will be located in Discoveryland.

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Welcome to Disneyland Paris!

Celebrations

There is an upcoming Marvel seasonal celebration at Disney Studios Paris.  New merchandise will be available, as well as some of the popular items that appear in the States.

For Mickey Mouse’s birthday in November, giant cupcake photo ops will appear around Disneyland Paris celebrating the mouse.

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Don’t leave without buying some new merchandise!!! The Paris mug.

Colonel Haiti’s and Pizza Planet at Disneyland Paris

Colonel Haiti’s and Pizza Planet will both be gone and in their places will be improved eateries for guests to enjoy.

Expect a big refurbishment at Disney Village – the shopping and dining district adjacent to the resorts.  Though it won’t be as big as the Downtown Disney conversion to Disney Springs, it will be a big improvement from what is currently there.

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The lovely Disneyland Hotel. We’ve stayed there 2x.

Hotel Adjustments

Already announced is the Hotel New York conversion to the Art of Marvel.  After that is finished, the Disneyland Hotel will undergo a massive renovation adding more classic characters to the iconic hotel.

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So pretty….so French!

Park-wide Digital Improvements

The Resort is going to move towards digital platforms, though Magic Bands will not be coming anytime soon.  More wifi will be present in the Parks.  Online bookings for restaurants are coming this summer.

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Ratatouille Fountain.

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Imagine taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over Disneyland Paris!!!

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With our aunt in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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The Disney Rash aka Golfer’s Rash

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The “Disney Rash” right above the sockline!

Have you ever gotten a rash on your legs at Disney World and wondered what it was?

Exercise-Induced Vasculitis (EIV) – Rash on Ankles and Lower Legs

One of the most common rashes reported by Disney guests is Exercise-Induced Vasculitis (EIV) and is what most people experience when they talk about the “Disney Rash”.

EIV is also commonly called Golfer’s Rash or Golfer’s Vasculitis because the doctor who published an early study on the condition started investigating it as a result of patients who complained of developing a rash on their lower legs and ankles while playing golf.

(Note:  It’s most common in golfers wearing shorts while playing in the morning after nighttime golf course watering.)

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Creams don’t help, I needed to apply a lot more sunscreen! And to pull up my socks!!!

Symptoms: A person’s legs and ankles begin to swell (this is called edema) due to standing and walking in a hot and humid place, such as the Magic Kingdom;  the swelling inflames the small blood vessels in the lower legs and causes red bumps to appear on the surface of the skin.  The combination of reflected light and heat from hot walking surfaces along with direct sunlight seem to be a factor, which is why the rash occurs on the ankles and lower calves.

Because the rash typically occurs at and above the sock line, it often gets misdiagnosed as an allergen, bug bite, or other irritant that came in contact with the exposed skin but clinical swabs of the skin surface typically come back negative.

The reason that the rash doesn’t occur below the sock line is that the sock and shoe provide compression that reduces edema and prevents damage to small blood vessels.   This type of rash is not contagious, is rarely itchy, and typically goes away in about a week.

Prevention:  Wear your socks pulled up high, at least 5” – 6”. Put extra sunscreen on your lower legs, at least SPF 50. Take an Advil in the morning and 1 at bedtime to reduce inflammation.  Creams like hydrocortisone and Calamine are not usually effective.  Wear pants.

Note:  I’ve never gotten this rash walking around Disneyland!  Only at Disney World.  Humidity – and temps in the 90s – must play a factor. And never in January when I wear pants to the parks.

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Two days later….it’s not itchy or painful, just unsightly.

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Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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How To Autograph Like a Disney Princess

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All the Disney princesses have a unique signature and they always sign their autograph the exact same way!

Yup, that’s right.  All the Disney characters at every Disney Park must sign their name using the same the Disney signature font.  Same swirl – or heart – over the i, same swirl underneath the name, same floating bubbles….

How cool is that??!!!

We always collect character autographs while visiting any Disney park:

Mickey Mouse on Main Street USA

Mickey Mouse signing our book at the Magic Kingdom

Mickey Mouse at Animal Kingdom

Mickey Mouse signing our book at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Our newest princess autograph is Moana’s:

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Moana signing my autograph book, cool signature.

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Meeting Moana at Disneyland in June.

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Seeing her again at Disney World!

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All the official Disney characters signatures.

All characters must learn to sign their name the correct way.

All characters must learn to sign their name the correct way. It takes a few days of training and practice to make it perfect.  🙂

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But, what if you don’t have time to stand in the character meet and greet lines???

Did you know that you can get a signed autographed postcard or picture from your favorite Disney character in the mail?

disney-postcardSend your request to your favorite character to the address below.  What Disney will send you varies from 5 x 7 character postcards to full 8 x 10 photos… make sure you address the letter to your favorite character – they’ll try to send the letter back from that character when they send the picture!  Usually takes 4 weeks.

Walt Disney World Communications

P.O. Box 10040

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

                                                                – OR –

The Walt Disney Company

Attn: Fan Mail Dept.

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank, CA 91521

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But wait, what about Walt’s famous signature?

Do you think you can recognize it??

The offical Disney Company logo.

The official Disney Company logo, Walt Disney Pictures.

You might think that you know Walt Disney’s signature – after all it’s at the beginning of every Disney movie – but you’re wrong!

logo3 (2)The Disney Company logo is actually a “stylized version” of Walt Disney’s signature.

As can be seen on legal documents, Disney’s own signature was not nearly as exciting or intricate.

That's his real signature on his passport.

That’s his real signature on his passport.

The ‘Walt Disney’ signature used by the company was actually designed by an animator and is not his real signature. They say that Disney didn’t like the way his real signature looked. In fact, rumor has it that Walt couldn’t even reproduce the famed Disney signature!

But, you know who can reproduce his style of writing???

Mickey Mouse!

Yup, look at how he signs his name and it’s actually Walt’s signature!

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The official Disney Font.  You can download it onto your computer and write all your emails with it!

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
***   

A Rainy Day Parade at the Magic Kingdom

YES, they do!!

YES, they do!!

Next week is June 1st and you know what that means…the rainy season has officially arrived in Orlando!  Get out your ponchos and umbrellas!

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Lots of rain in the Disney World forecast this Memorial Day Weekend!

While the average Orlando rainfall in May is a little over 3”, in June that expected rainfall jumps to over 8” in the average month!  That’s a lot of rain!!

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

Rainy season: June, July, August, September

If you’ve visited WDW more than a couple of times – especially in the summer months – then there’s a good chance that you’ve had the afternoon parade delayed or even canceled by inclement weather.

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

Here comes the Rainy Day Cavalcade parade!

On days when it’s pouring rain in the afternoon, Disney swaps the ‘Rainy Day Calvacade’ parade for the 3pm Festival of Fantasy parade.  (If it’s lighting/thundering, the parade will be delayed until the storm passes.)

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May 22, 2018: A Rainy Day Parade!

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays...

You still get to see all the characters smiling and waving at the crowds while the music plays…

The performers all wear bright yellow raingear and the Main Street vehicles (old timey cars and the double-deckered bus) are packed with Disney characters.

It's amazing how cheerful the performers are!

It’s amazing how cheerful the performers are!

But, come prepared!  The streets at MK do flood very easily!

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May 21, 2018

For more tips on Visiting Disney World in the Rain, read our blog: Rain, rain, go away.

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: No Crowds!

Rainy day at the Magic Kingdom: Look no crowds!  And, yes, the parade will go on!  🙂

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Micky and Minnie getting caught in an afternoon cloudburst.

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Usually, the afternoon rain doesn’t last very long, maybe a hour.

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Walking around Epcot’s World Showcase in the pouring rain! Still fun! 🙂

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

****

When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different

Cinderella Castle

The most famous – and unpopular – change to the Cinderella Castle.

We were thinking about all the changes we’ve seen the Cinderella Castle go through since our first trip to WDW in 1993.

The most dramatic change was for the 15 month-long celebration of WDW’s 25th Anniversary (October 1996 – January 1998).

At the Castle, October 1996

At the pink Cinderella Castle with my mom, October 1996

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WDW on October 1, 1996, Disney transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the celebration. This was no small undertaking.

It took more than 400 US gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, which was then decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet tall, 16 two-foot long candy stars, 16 five-foot candy bears, 12 five-foot gumdrops, four six-foot stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot lollipops, and 50 two-foot gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off.

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But, it’s been changed other times too:

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

We were there in 2005 for the castle’s redecoration commemorating the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire.

Stitich is King!

Stitch is King!  Awful!

The least appreciated Castle transformation – which only lasted 1 day (Nov 16, 2004) – was when the castle was modified to appear as though it was strewn with toilet paper.

“Stitch is King” was posted on a turret as faux graffiti to mark the grand opening of ‘Stitch’s Great Escape!’ ride in Tomorrowland that day. The material was removed after the park closed that evening.

Disney got a lot of complaints over that decor!  Wildly unappreciated and unpopular!!!

Castel repairs, January 2014

Castle repairs going on in January.

Every January, after the millions of Cinderella Castle Dream Lights came down, Disney maintenance starts an in-depth sprucing up of the Castle’s exterior.

They repair any roof leaks, re-seal the exterior, clean all the Castle windows (a big job!), and touch up any Castle paint which got scratched from the Dream Lights.

On Main Street USA, February 2014.  Note the crane moving things in the background.

On Main Street USA in January.  Note the big Disney crane moving things in the background.

For most of January when you walk down Main Street USA, you will see the large crane moving maintenance people and supplies back and forth.

It photobombs everyone’s Main Street photos!  😦

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

****

Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire at the Magic Kingdom

dragon1May 11, 2018:  The fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon float in the Festival of Fantasy Parade caught fire today at the Magic Kingdom as the parade neared Liberty Square.

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Guests stood around and filmed the burning dragon before cast members moved them away from the float. It was weird because the dragon continued to moved his head and the parade music continued to play.

The parade promptly stopped and several cast members responded with small portable fire extinguishers, which did not put out the fire burning in the dragon’s head.

Video Link:   Maleficent Dragon Float Catches Fire

The float’s pilot escaped unharmed.  The motorized dragon continued to lift its head up and down while the flames made their way down its neck to the float’s body.  No cast members or park guests were injured during the incident.

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The float is a total loss.

The Maleficent Dragon float was a total loss when the fire was finally put out.

fire1Yesterday, the dragon float was replaced by a new float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora.  (We saw this float being used for them during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade last year.  Of course, then it was a lot more festive and decorated for the holidays.)

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New float featuring Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora debuted in the FoF parade on Saturday, May 12th.

A new dragon float – the steampunk star of the Festival of Fantasy parade – will be added back into the parade in 2019.

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

****

When the Cinderella Castle was Bright Pink!

We thought this change was wonderful!

We thought this bold castle color change was wonderful…but a lot of guests hated it!

We went to Disney World in November 1996 to see the “pink birthday castle” unveiled for the 25th anniversary celebration a few weeks earlier.

We were not disappointed!!  It was BRIGHT PINK!

At WDW for the 25 Anniversary celebration - in the of the Pink Castle.

Nov. 1996:  At Disney World for the 25th Anniversary celebration – sitting in front of the “Pink Castle”.  We loved it! ❤

Waiting for the 3 o'clock parade.

Waiting for the 3 o’clock parade to start.

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Magic Kingdom marching band.

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Caroline in the Lion King float.

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Genie on Main Street USA in the 3 o’clock parade

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All those candles were inflatables and would sway in the breeze.

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The whole Castle wasn’t painted…this is the view from the backside, Fantasyland.

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It really dazzled the eye!

We saved the MK park map from our trip!

We saved the MK park map from our trip! Nov. 1996

Sold at McDonald's for $1.

Disney drinking glasses celebrating the 25th anniversary of WDW. Sold at McDonald’s for just $1.  We wish we had bought more than just one!

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Dec 2017:  The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights are on.  Make it pink!!  🙂

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April 2018:  Pink Millennial Minnie Ears arrive at MK.  I wish I had these back then!  So pretty!!

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Throwback Thursday: Our mom at the Wedding Pavilion next to the Grand Floridian.

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Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***